3 Types of Ambiguity In Translation and Ways to Handle the Issue. Be Aware!!

One of main problems that writers often face is regarding the ambiguity in translation issue. Ambiguity is also commonly known as words that has more than one definition. This may causes the message receiver gets confused on understanding the word, this may occur either in form of speech or written texts. The ambiguity itself consists of 3; phonetic, grammatical and lexical ambiguity. However, there are also some ways that both the message receiver and sender can do to minimize the ambiguity in translation issue. The article below will help you to get an in-depth understanding above types of ambiguity in translation and ways to solve this issue.

3 Types of Ambiguity In Translation and Ways to Handle the Issue


What is 3 Types of Ambiguity In Translation?


1. Phonetic ambiguity


Phonetic or also commonly known as sound ambiguity may happen due to the sound mixing being produce from the spoken language. This may causes the message receiver experience problems in defining the words or phrase from the message sender. Phonetic ambiguity often occurs in daily conversation. In order to avoid this kind of ambiguity, the message receive should clearly listen the whole context of the sentence. So that they will get clear understanding regarding the spoken sentence.

2. Grammatical ambiguity


This kind of ambiguity may occur during the creation process of language including words, sentences, phrases or even a whole paragraph. Ambiguity which caused by morphology issue will be solve directly when it is being used in correct context of a sentence.


3. Lexical ambiguity


Lexical ambiguity or also commonly called as semantic or homonymy ambiguity, often occurs when a word has more than one definition. Therefore, there are many message receivers who may get confused to define the words. However, they will get better understanding of the words when they finished listening or reading to the whole sentence or context. For example,


There are many factors that may cause the ambiguity in translation including the morphology, structural and syntax factors. However, almost all of the ambiguity cases are solved when the message sender gives complete sentences to provide the message receiver a better understanding towards the context. In addition, the same thing also happens to message receiver.

They also need to listen or read to the whole context of sentence to minimize the ambiguity of words. These ways will also benefit both message sender and receiver, to have better understanding of communication. Thus, a good writer should also aware of this ambiguity in translation issue and ensure that he or she also provides a complete context of sentence for the readers.

Problems in Translating Poetry

Translating becomes some problems that many people always find and meet when they are translating another language. It can be in linguistic aspects, literary aspects, and even in socio-cultural problems. However, when it comes to translate poetry it will find some problems that actually can be harder than the other translating cases. Therefore, in this article we are going to provide you with some Problems in Translating Poetry that mostly occur to the translators when they are translating poem. So, are you interested to know more? Let us check it out!

Problems in Translating Poetry


Linguistic Problems


Linguistic becomes the Problems in Translating Poetry that mostly happen to the many translators. The reason is that most of the authentic language has different perception with another language that the translator is going to translate. This case is called as collocation that refers to the word or even word groups’ combination. In addition, linguistic problems are the most issues that occur among the translators especially when they are translating the poetry. Hence, it becomes a great job to do for the translators, who are planning to translate the poetry to know this kind of problems and how to deal with it. For examples, you can find the accurate structure from the poetry, and then you have to get the specific verb. These things will help you in knowing the meaning of the poetry without doing any translations’ mistakes.

Literary or Aesthetic Problems


The second one is to comprehend the truth of the literary or even aesthetic that conveyed by the poetry. This is also known as the popular Problems in Translating Poetry. In keeping away from this problem, you have to know how to retain the literary or even the aesthetic values and messages from the text. Besides, you also have to know some metaphors that is mostly used in the poetry. By knowing some types of the metaphor, you will know and get the exact messages that the poetry is going to tell you. In addition, metaphor is related to the visual images that you can read based on the combination of words. It also included some words that combined with sound, smell, taste, and even touch. Hence, in this section you also have to know some information related to the literary or aesthetic problems; such as, poetic structure, sound, and metaphorical expressions.

Last but not the least, by gaining some information and knowledge about Problems in Translating Poetry, you will get lots of beneficial in translating the poetry. One of them is to keep away the mistakes or problem that may happen to you while translating. Happy trying!


Read also: 3 Most common Language Translation Problems

The Most Common Translation Mistakes

Simply knowing how to speak in different languages doesn’t mean that you are mastering in translating it. Translation skills need more than just roughly knowing what it meant. Even if you know exactly what it said, sometimes people need to take some times to translate non-native language to a native language, and vice versa.

The Most Common Translation Mistakes


Beginner translators struggle with the correct translation word per word because they still need to get confident and processed important rules regarding with translation. However, translating can’t be done by understanding the rough meaning of a whole mistake, neither can’t translating per word. So to begin, these are the most common translation mistakes ever made.

A lot of novice translators make a mistake by translating script word for word. To be a good translator, you need to interpret a script to another language in the same style as it is intended. Different language can have different sentence structure; therefore you can’t justify the translation of English to Arabic for instance.

Use a dictionary to make sure you truly understand the meaning of the word and the proper way to use it. Sometimes the same word has different meaning, or probably the same meaning but should be used in a different situation. You can convince yourself by having your script reviewed by a native speaker of that language.

Second, not every word can be translated. Certain words do not meant to be translated, so you can just write the original word with a quotation mark. For example you can’t translate “Eid Mubarak” or “Ka’bah” since they are related to certain religion and cultural aspects.

Third, try to fully understand the whole aspects of styling in one language before you begin to translate. Interpreting a script without knowing the appropriate style can change the essence of the script. To pass on the real meaning of a topic, it is very important to translate the document in the right tone. For example, the tone in a teenage book will be different with the one for formal learning book.

And for the last translation mistake, don’t exaggerate the meaning of the words. Sometimes we think it sounds better to add more words and make it more dramatic. Sadly it depends on what are you working on. When you are a professional translator, you have to know what your client need and what he expects from you. You want to keep it simple for personal use. While for publishing purpose, you need to follow certain guidelines of the publisher. Now that you know the most common translation mistakes, you can definitely do better next time!

Lexical Problems in Translation

There are many problems occurred in the process of translation. These problems mostly are phonological problems, lexical problems, grammatical problems, and stylistic problems. Phonological problem is due to the ignorance of a person on transmitting a particular sound, while the meaning is the same, into an equivalent in the target language. Grammatical problems encountered especially in language that have a totally different origin, such as English and Arabic. And the stylistic problems happened when the formality or informality of the language affect the meaning of itself. In this article, we are going to talk more about the lexical problems in translation.

Lexical Problems in Translation


As a translator, we constantly try our best to get the most equivalence word, sentence, and text. We are forced to choose whether translating the source text locally, or change a little bit of the feature to be able to deliver it more accurately. This is where we face the lexical choices and somehow become a problem in translation.

Lexical problems include lexical ambiguity, lexical gaps, unrecognized words, idioms, and sub idiomatic expressions. The example of lexical ambiguity in part of speech is syntactically or semantically ambiguous words that are often common and brief; words of denotation ambiguity, and abbreviation of denotation that required appropriate punctuation and capitalization.

Lexical gap is a phenomenon where the translator is out of words to express a certain concept, for instance between oppress and aggress. Those words tend to be considered as normalization while no part of it is actually matched. People usually encounter words that they don’t actually understand or probably meaningless, which commonly called as unrecognized words. Words such as ‘blivit’ or ‘chela’ included here.

Idioms can include neologism and proper names and more of a concrete sense. In other hand, sub idiomatic expression has a role to facilitate expression or linguistic shortcuts. A sub idiom expression is sense limited and homologue to the sense of modifier or the part with which it occurs.

Lexical problems may come in some cases such as literal meaning, synonyms, polysemy, collocations, idioms, proverbs, metaphors, technical terms, proper names, titles, political establishments, geographical terms and acronyms.

A research was trying to find out how learners misuse the phrasal verbs, which is one of the lexical errors. Learners used to avoid using them because of their lack of experience or habit of using them. Secondly, they use the wrong combination, for instance using the right verb but the wrong particle. Third, learners used to confuse between phrasal verbs and single word verbs whose meanings are related.

In conclusion, these lexical problems in translation occurred because learners or translators ignore the use of phrasal verbs (for instance) and confusing them with similar simple verbs. Not to mention the literal translation they did or probably the misleading translation.

Paying Attention to Cultural Differences in Translation

Doing a translation is not as easy as it seems. The important aspects in translating a language to other language are not just the actual translation, but also the point where we can make the readers fully understand what we are saying. One of the biggest challenges in doing this task is by no doubt, cultural differences.

How can cultural differences be such an important element in translation? Well, here is one example of cultural differences in translation. If you are translating an advertisement in France to Dutch, it will be way easier for you to just translate it word for word, won’t it? But what happen is, the main point might be delivered right, but the humor and cultural shade will be lost. The advertisement would become clear and sadly dry.

Paying Attention to Cultural Differences in Translation


Another thing to keep in mind is that some countries prefer formal language, especially when talking to a respected people, older people, or business partners. But this is not the case in some other countries. For example it is normal to begin a conversation with informal pronoun in Netherland, while it is definitely not for Germany. When translating to German, it is very important to have a formal speech. Speaking to someone in a professional position, the informal “you” should not even be used.

These differences of cultures happen, even in the same country. Javanese people are soft and subtle speakers, while Batavia’s people are not. In this case, Javanese people take the circuital road before saying the main thing to someone, and with a very smooth way. While Batavia’s say it loudly, directly, and easily interrupt other people. With the huge differences between them, you will have to find a way for a translation between them so that these cultures don’t crash.

In the activity of translation, it always involves at least two different languages and two different cultural traditions. Realize it or not, the translators will have this problem right in front of their faces on how to treat the inexplicit cultural aspects of the source language to find the suitable technique to successfully deliver this message in the target language.

So now that we are on the same side, we agreed that cultural differences in translation is very important. And the after this, we are going to talk about what are the other cultures differences that affect the daily activity of one’s life. Don’t miss our next article!

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Cultural Problems in Translation and Brief Solutions

Cultural Problems in Translation – language is a product of culture and surely it develops along with the cultures of the speakers. The culture itself involves so many things including the habits, customs and even perspectives or views of the community. Meanwhile, translation itself can be defined as the process to change a sort of contexts from one language to another. Then, as one language may be only had by a certain culture, it results some problems anyway. The problems in translations include several cultural aspects which have such crucial complication. It is in line with what has been said by Catford, it was that the central problem of translation is about finding out the equivalence of a word or a sentence. As you know, a word in one language often doesn’t have any equivalence in another one.
Cultural Problems in Translation and Brief Solutions


Translability and Untranslability Concepts


During the looking for of the equivalence, the translators must face some translability and untranslability concepts. Sure, the problems occurred due to the translability concept will not be as difficult as those in the untranslability. In term of unstranslability, the text sometimes cannot be translated properly. The words or sentences from original language are then changed into those from target languages in which both only have similar meanings not the exact ones. Sure, if there are too many unstranslability cases in a context, it can cause many shifts in meaning. Something to be worried is that the message of the context cannot be delivered then. It is probably more relieving since in these modern days, many new terms tend to be more global. It is particularly those which are related to the technology. As an example, “internet” will be translated as “internet” in any language. However, for the terms as the products of traditional cultures, they are those which should be solved.


How to Solve the Problems


As it has been mentioned above, it is really possible for a translator to translate a word from original language into another word from target language with similar meaning. Yes, similar means that both are not exactly the same. However, it seems that the wiser way is by not translating the term at all. Meanwhile, the translator can give something like footnote at the lower part of the page regarding the foreign words that cannot be translated. Sure, this way is considered as the more effective. Besides, it can be a chance for readers to learn more about the cultures where the original language comes from.



Translation Problems and Difficulties

Translation is not as easy as we ever thought before. Particularly, to consider some things that we are going to convey to the readers; such as, the messages or even main ideas in another language. As result, it becomes an essential thing that we have to know in gaining some knowledge about the correct grammar. The reason is that it will give the best strategies for us in giving the correct translation results with no errors. Therefore, to avoid some errors that mostly happen to the translation, I will provide you some common Translation Problems and Difficulties that will help you in knowing some knowledge related to the grammatical mistakes. Just read by yourself.


Translation Problems and Difficulties

Who and Whom

This first point seems very easy to differentiate, but actually not a few people do the Translation Problems and find the Difficulties in this trivial thing. Therefore, in gaining more knowledge about the use of who and whom, I give you some brief information that will help you in differentiating and even applying to your translation. Next, “who” is known as subjective or nominative and pronouns that usually used to describe the subjects; such as, he, she, it, they, and we. As consequences, “who: is tend to be used as the subject of a clause. Besides, “whom” is the contrary of “who” in which it is known as objective pronoun. “Whom” also used to describe him, her, it, them, and us. Therefore, if “who” is tend to be used as the subject, “whom” used as the object of the clause. In addition, it becomes your responsibility and awareness in using these words; who and whom. Nevertheless, make sure that you know the subject or even the object of a sentence, because it will keep you away from making a mistake while translating.

May and Might

The second common Translation Problems and Difficulties is may and might. Not a few people also confused and tend to forget about the differentiation of both words. Furthermore, here, let us see together about the use of “may” and “might”. The first one is, “may”. “May” tells about the possibility, whereas “might” is telling about the uncertainty of something. For farther information, here, I provide you some examples related to use of these words. “May” mostly used in the sentence; such as, “You may get failed in your final exam if you do not ever try to study”, this sentence implies the possibility and means she or he will fail in the final exam if he or she does not want to study. The second one; “You might get late if you walk as slow as that”.


In brief, by knowing two brief explanations of the use of “who” and “whom” or even “may” and ”might”, you will be able to use and apply these words in the correct pattern. As result, it will reduce and minimalize the Translation Problems and Difficulties that mostly happen and you meet while you are translating.. Happy trying!

Direct Translation Problems

The purpose of language is to communicate, to give and gain some information related to the things that may important or even only some things that common. Nevertheless, if it fails, it means the language and its function cannot get the purposes. People will not know the idea or even ways to communicate in the good ways. As result, it becomes a big responsibility and even an important role as the translators to give the correct idea. Moreover, to tell the exact information, you have to be careful and even to comprehend the idea while you are translating the sentences. As result, the reader will get and believe to the things that you already told to them. Besides, it also means that you are able to give the important purpose of language. Therefore, in this article I am going to inform you some Direct Translation Problems that will help you to avoid them! Here they are!

Direct Translation Problems


Language Structure


The first Direct Translation Problems that you are facing while you are doing the translation directly is language structure. Every language has a unique structure, and it becomes a special thing and even challenging thing to do at one if you are translating the language to another language directly. Moreover, the accuracy and simplicity of the translations become the essential thing to do. It means, you have to be able to translate the language as simple as you can, especially to give the right idea of the language. However, you also have to make sure that while you are translating directly you have to be able to arrange the structure of the language perfectly. Hence, it will help the readers or even the listeners to understand and comprehend the idea exactly.

Multiple Meaning


The second Direct Translation Problems that the translators face is multiple meaning. While they are translating directly, not a few translator ever do and make this mistake. In addition, they are making multiple meaning unconsciously. For examples, using the several meanings in one sentence, so it sounds repeatedly and boring while the listeners or the readers hear and see your translations’ results. Therefore, it becomes essential for you to know some words that have multiple meanings; such as, words that sound alike or usually known as homographic, homonyms, and homophones, and some words that sound different or usually known as heterophonies or heteronyms.

Briefly, by knowing those Direct Translation Problems, it will help you to fix your mistakes that probably done by you while you are translating directly. It will be good for you also to learn these points in order to diminish the mistakes. Happy trying!